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NYC - UWS: Dorilton Apartments | by wallyg
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NYC - UWS: Dorilton Apartments

The flamboyant 12-story Dorilton Apartments, designed by Elisha Harris Janes and Richard Leopold Leo, was developed by Hamilton M. Weed in 1902, who speculatively bought the lot 3 years earlier before the uptwon subway routes were set, at a cost of $750,000. Echoing a design they implemented for Weed's Alimar, Janes & Leo employed a stone base, red brick middle section and curving mansard on a larger scale.


As architect critic, Montgomery Schuyler, noted at the time, ""It was a most questionable and question-provoking edifice in the guise of an apartment house. It not merely solicits but demands attention. It yells 'Come and look at me' so loud that the preoccupied or even the color blind can not choose but hear." The building took French ideas, but used them in a more ornate manner than any French architect would have, incorporating more cartouches than any building in Paris.


The Dorilton Boasting one of the most attractive entrance gates in the city--a sidestreet portal that leads into a couryard lightwell bridges at the ninth story by an arch. The entranceway is surmounted by two putti, flanked by ornate cast-iron fences and joined by glope-topped columns.


The building originally had 48 apartments, fourt to a floor, ranging from 1-to-4 bedrooms and renting for $100 to $300 a month. Today it has 59. By the time the Dorilton had been built, the idea of the apartment plan had finally been perfected, separating the public rooms like the parlor, library, and dining room from the private bedrooms and service spaces.


Over time, stores were installed in the Broadway frontage and, starting in the 1950's, large sections of cornice, whole dormers, lengths of cresting and other elements crumbled or were removed. The building was converted into a co-op in 1984. In 1990, at the cost of $1.5 million, the mansard was reslated and some dormers and cresting rebuilt. A deep cornice at the 10th-floor level, originally stone, could not be rebuilt but a lesser cornice at the 11th-floor level was painted in trompe l'oeil to imitate the banding and shadows of the original.


The Dorilton Apartments were designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1974.


National Register #83001723 (1983)

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Taken on August 4, 2007